The head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office Laura Codruța Kovesi, on the 50 thousand euro threshold for abuse of office: It is the intention to partially decriminalize the crime of abuse of office. If adopted, these changes would affect EPPO investigations and lower the existing level of protection of EU financial interests in Romania
The head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, Laura Codruța Kovesi, told G4Media.ro that imposing a threshold of €50,000 for abuse of office to be considered a crime is an „intention to partially decriminalize the crime of abuse of office”. „If these changes were adopted, they would affect EPPO investigations and lower the existing level of protection of EU financial interests in Romania,” Kovesi told G4Media.ro.
The full statement is reproduced below
„EPPO was created to improve the level of protection of the EU’s financial interests. It is therefore my duty to react if I see developments going in the opposite direction.
What I see in these proposed amendments is the intention to partially decriminalize the offense of abuse of office. If adopted, these amendments would affect EPPO investigations and lower the existing level of protection of EU financial interests in Romania.
This is why we will closely follow the next steps of the legislative procedure and will be ready to bring this issue to the attention of the European Commission, including in the framework of the rule of law conditionality mechanism.”
The Senate plenary voted on Wednesday on the amendment to introduce a threshold of 250,000 lei for abuse of office, Radu Mihail, leader of the USR senators, told G4Media. The bill now goes to the Chamber of Deputies, which is the decision-making chamber.
The 250,000 lei threshold is almost identical to the 200,000 lei threshold in the famous OUG 13 given by the Dragnea – Grindeanu tandem in 2017, which led to the biggest street protests in decades.
The changes were introduced as amendments by ruling PSD-PNL-UDMR MPs to a bill initiated by the government in December 2022. The legislative sheet on the Senate website does not explicitly state the names of the PSD, PNL and UDMR MPs who tabled the amendment, but only that they are members of the Senate Legal Committee.
If the amendment by the ruling party passes the vote, the act of a public official intentionally causing damage of less than 250,000 lei will no longer be a crime. If this provision were in force, Liviu Dragnea would not have been convicted.
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